Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia

by Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Clean Water for 500 Families in Cambodia
Sambo and Ku, with their young son
Sambo and Ku, with their young son

The rising costs of health care is a common concern in the West. People often take for granted the infrastructures and systems that automatically provide sanitary conditions and safe drinking water. Imagine what life is like for people, without health insurance, who are ill on a regular basis by simply drinking (unsafe) water.

Sambo and his wife, Ku, are 25-year-old farmers in the Sandan District of Kampong Thom Province in Cambodia. With a 7th grade education, Sambo makes a living by working the land on farms owned by others. But frequent diarrhea and abdominal pains not only kept Sambo from working; his chronic illness also incurred many medical bills for treatment. The whole family was ill and needed to borrow money just to cover their daily living expenses. The burden was very heavy on Sambo—how to provide for his family, pay the bills, and all the while they and their young son were struggling with poor health.

Using water from a well and collecting rainwater met their daily needs for washing clothes, cooking, and drinking. Ku believed that the rainwater was clean and was safe to use. However, the family was actually suffering from water-borne illnesses. In 2019, their lives dramatically improved after deciding to participate in a Biosand Water Filter and health training program facilitated by the local church and made possible by your generous donations.

Sambo shares, “I regularly bottle the water from the filter and take it to the fields when I work, and I drink a lot of water before I go fishing on the river. All of my family members and I got healthier and I hope that in the future my family’s living condition will continue to get better.”

Sambo now has enough time and energy to farm and provide for his family’s expenses. Not only are they healthy now—without abdominal pains and diarrhea—but they no longer need to spend so much money on medical treatments. Sambo and Ku can even begin to save money for their family's future.

Here’s Sambo's final word to you:

“Now, I am very happy after getting a Biosand Filter from Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation. Thank you for your donations to support my family’s living situation!”

 ...

Sambo and Ku, working outside their home
Sambo and Ku, working outside their home
Ku, inside their home
Ku, inside their home
Sambo, happy to be drinking clean and safe water
Sambo, happy to be drinking clean and safe water
Sambo and Ku, with local pastor and volunteers
Sambo and Ku, with local pastor and volunteers

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Sarer works in her rice fields
Sarer works in her rice fields

Sarer was a young wife and mother when she was widowed in 1994 in rural Cambodia. Her husband died of malaria, a common malady for farmers in tropical areas. Sarer lives in a multi-generational home with her elderly mother, along with her daughter and son-in-law. She works hard to provide daily necessities for her family.

“As a widow, without a good education, I don’t have any opportunity to work in higher-paying jobs. I work as a farmer, raising chickens, and I grow some veggies,” shares Sarer. “I remember a few years ago, my mom got sick with typhoid and stomach pains, while my daughter’s health was also weak. It required so much money that I took some loans to solve these problems. I thought that sickness is a part of [normal] life … so I didn’t fight to get anything better.”

Through a CWEF Animal Gift project, Sarer’s livelihood started to improve. She received animal husbandry training and five chickens. Her brood of chickens now numbers around 80! With the money from her chicken business, Sarer purchased a rice mill machine. She sells organic rice and uses the rice bran to feed her animals.

Later, CWEF introduced health training and made biosand water filters available to Sarer’s village. “I learned more about the bad effects of using unclean water.” She discovered that the cause of many diseases that her family and neighboring villagers experienced were from unclean water, such as abdominal pain, typhoid fever, and diarrhea. Sarer was very interested in using a biosand water filter. “I thought that I need to protect myself and take care my family from now on.”

Sarer’s health improved dramatically once she received a biosand water filter in 2018. She no longer needs to search for firewood needed to boil and purify her drinking water. “I trust the biosand filter!” she shares. “I use the water for cooking, drinking, and showering. I am now healthier than in the past. I have more strength to work and take care of my family.”

CWEF’s vision is a “world of thriving communities, serving and inspiring hope in others.” Through CWEF projects, Sarer and her family are now thriving. In her own words, she reflects:

“My life is better than five to six years ago. Thank you so much for bringing the development projects - both Animal Gift and Biosand Filter projects - to my community.”

...

Sarer prepares rice for chicken feed
Sarer prepares rice for chicken feed
Sarer with her large chicken coop
Sarer with her large chicken coop
Sarer adds chicken eggs to her incubator
Sarer adds chicken eggs to her incubator

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Chanty, 38, raises her two children with her husband who is a farmer in Samrith village in Kompong Thom province. Their day begins early, with her husband going to fish with a hand-held net around 5 AM. On a good day, he will catch several big fish, which he can sell at the market. Smaller fish are cooked for the family’s meal along with rice and vegetables that they grow for themselves. Chanty tends to the chickens, ducks, and vegetable farming while their children are at school. 

While their diet was well-balanced, the family often suffered from a variety of illnesses like abdominal pain and headaches. “My husband had typhoid and my children were weak from diarrhea,” shared Chanty. Since other families in her village suffered similar sicknesses, she considered it normal and didn’t wonder about the root cause of their health problems.

“One day, the village chief come to invite me to join health training from CWEF. I already heard about this organization a few years ago, and that they provide bio-sand filters to families in our area. So, I went to listen to the training. I increased my knowledge of health issues, especially the negative effects of unclean water. After finishing the training, I really wanted to get the bio-sand filter soon because it`s very beneficial for my family.”

In 2019, Chanty received a bio-sand filter from CWEF. She and her family immediately noticed the improvement to the quality of their water. The water was more transparent and the family’s food tasted better. “Nowadays, I don’t need much time for boiling water for my family, and they can drink whenever they want to.”

The bio-sand filter has positively impacted Chanty’s family in measurable ways. “Our family is not rich, but at least we don’t get sick often like before. I have been saving some money with my husband toexpand our animal raising. Right now, we have 30 ducks and 20 chickens, both big and small together.”

She concludes, “Thank you so much to CWEF for bio-sand filter projects that come to help my community and make us more aware about health and provide us with safe water!”

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Fifty-year-old Ounpich is a gregarious person. She laughs throughout conversations and gestures confidently with her hands. Ounpich beams as she talks about her 27-year-old son. He studied management at a university in Phnom Penh and is now working for World Vision, the global Christian non-profit organization. She is extremely proud of him.

Ounpich mainly grows rice and raises chickens for her daily needs. Her cheerful exterior alone might never reveal the issues she encounters as a farmer in Cambodia during extreme seasons. She showed us how far the floodwater reaches by pointing to a spot on the stilts supporting her house — sometimes up to eight feet. When it floods, she cannot work in her fields. Consequently, Ounpich can go without an income for up to two months each year.

The harsh contrast to the flooding season is the drought that comes during the summer. Ounpich says the ground has been especially dry this year, and she must water the plants three times a day in order to keep them healthy. Besides working in the rice fields, she tends a personal garden behind her home, where she grows many more vegetables. She eats some of these herself, gives some to neighbors, and sells the rest, which earns her about 20,000 riels (about $5 USD) per day.

Ounpich has benefitted significantly from the BioSand Water Filter that CWEF provided to her. She uses the filtered clean water for daily drinking, cooking, cleaning, and brushing teeth. Ounpich’s health has improved greatly as she no longer gets ill from drinking unclean water. Using the BioSand Filter also frees up the time she used to spend each day collecting firewood to boil water from a nearby well so that it can be safely consumed. With overall improved health, Ounpich is better prepared to face the challenges of a farmer’s life.

Your generous contributions to this project make it possible for CWEF to renew health and hope for people like Ounpich who are facing the challenges of rural poverty.

In addition to the gift of Biosand Water Filters, CWEF trains families in proper maintenance of their filter, along with education on proper sanitation and hygiene, and its effect on disease prevention and overall health. With proper care and maintenance, each water filter can provide a family with clean water for more than 20 years.

In 2020, we hope to reach even more families in Ounpich’s community with the precious and transformative gift of clean water. A gift of just $25 provides clean water for one child, and $100 provides clean water for an entire family.

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Phoung with her BioSand Water Filter
Phoung with her BioSand Water Filter

Phoung is 37 years old and lives in Chheu Teal village with her husband Sokheun and their two children. Their son is 11 years old and their daughter is 9 – both go to school at nearby Samrith Primary School.

Phoung shared the following with CWEF’s Kanhchana Thoy on a recent visit to their home:

“In the past, we used water directly from a ring-style water well. This caused us to get diarrhea and stomach pain, so I often spent time and money to go to the clinic in our village. This made it more difficult for us to make an income for our family’s living expenses.
During rainy season, my husband goes to catch fish from the river but he often had to stay at home because he got stomachaches and diarrhea, so he wasn’t able to spend enough time to bring benefits to our family from fishing.
After we received a Biosand Water Filter (#82) in January 2019, our family has been able to save time and our illness due to bacteria has lessened. I am healthier now for my work at home like cooking, feeding animals, cutting wood for cooking, and going out to work in the rice fields. Also, my husband is able to go fishing more often on the river.
We are so thankful that CWEF supports bringing safe drinking water to my family and our neighbors.”
...
 
$100 provides clean water for an entire family.

Looking into the future, we hope to reach even more families in Phoung’s community with the precious and transformative gift of clean water.

In addition to the Biosand Water Filters, CWEF trains families in proper maintenance of their filter, along with education on proper sanitation and hygiene, and its effect on disease prevention and overall health. With proper care and maintenance, each water filter can provide a family with clean water for more than 20 years.

Thank you for your generous contributions to this project.

Water before going through BioSand Water Filter
Water before going through BioSand Water Filter
BioSand Water Filter in Action
BioSand Water Filter in Action
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Organization Information

Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation

Location: Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon - China-Hong Kong SAR
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @cwef_hk
Project Leader:
Joshua Lange
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon China-Hong Kong SAR
$26,942 raised of $50,000 goal
 
252 donations
$23,058 to go
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